Chapter 15: Marty Milligan, Radio Patriot
The Roy clones were all isolated in a prison-style cellblock. There were individual cells, but the doors were typically kept unlocked during waking hours, so the Roys were free to interact within the group. The Grays discovered early on that prolonged isolation had detrimental effects on the human psyche, and they didn't want to do anything that might undermine the mental health of their subjects.
The alien overlords piped in council-approved television and radio programming from Earth because it seemed to occupy the minds of the humans and keep them more passive. There was even a rewards system set up for the human clones, which allowed them to accumulate credits for good behavior. The credits could be exchanged for candy, mildly intoxicating alcoholic beverages, and even conjugal visits with genetically engineered female humans. Of course, engineered hookers had their ovaries removed, so there was no chance of conception, but the Roys seemed perfectly content to simply go through the motions of pro-creation.
To say it was an idyllic life would be a gross overstatement. However, it was the only life they knew. With no standard of comparison, they felt something that could only be described as contentment. The rules were clear-cut and relatively easy to follow.
The clones would get their good behavior credits so long as they picked up after themselves and didn't instigate fights with their brothers or their Gray overseers. They'd spend the credits on trivial little vices: a chocolate bar after dinner, a couple of beers at night, a roll in the hay with a decent-looking woman once a week, and perhaps some pornographic material to keep them occupied for the other six days.
Everything went smoothly enough until an A.M. radio station on Earth made a bold move with their programming strategy: in an attempt to bolster ratings, the company fired their program director and abandoned their smooth jazz show that ran from 10:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. EST, Monday through Friday. They hired a new programmer, who immediately picked up a controversial shock jock and conspiracy theorist named Marty Milligan.
Within a few months, Milligan was syndicated from Los Angeles to New York, and the Gray overseers were too busy to notice that the Council-approved smooth jazz time slot had been canceled and substituted with another, non-Council approved program.
There were a couple Roys who had grown accustomed to listening to their nightly four-hour block of down tempo, easily digested melodies layered over synthesized rhythms. You can imagine their surprise when a raspy-voiced prophet of doom who was amped up on six or seven cups of coffee started berating the listening audience.
"You're all a bunch of frigging sheep," Marty Milligan screamed into the microphone. "Wake the hell up before the government turns our country into a nanny state of limp-wristed, helpless, scared, pathetic little children! They're doin' it right now, folks. Even as I broadcast these words across the North American continent, the politicians are colluding to take away even more of your freedoms.
"The Bill of Rights exists only as ink and parchment. The meaning of the document, the sanctity of the document, was stolen a long time ago because you people got lazy! You abandoned your civic duty, and you let a power-hungry central government run amok. You got your cable television, your social networks, your internet porn, and you're completely and utterly disengaged from the political process.
"And now the power mongers in Washington D.C. have stolen this once great country out from under our noses because you people fell asleep behind the wheel. You people dropped the ball. And you know what the biggest kick in the ass is? I'm sure you don't know -- because you're among the stupidest, least informed people of any industrialized country -- so I'll just have to come right out and tell you. The biggest kick in the ass is that you haven't even noticed what's been stolen from you!
"Our ancestors fought and died for these liberties. Some of them died horrible, unspeakable deaths. They were shot, burned, sometimes rattled apart by the concussive force of heavy artillery. Some of them had their lungs blistered by mustard gas. Some of them froze, some of them starved, some succumbed to disease. They fought and died for those words in the Bill of Rights, and you let the politicians wipe their big fat asses with it like it was toilet paper.
"Let me ask you something ... and I'm being serious here. What percentage of the listening audience could summarize all ten amendments that appear on the Bill of Rights? Let's pretend Google has been temporarily disabled, and all you little sheep out there have to think for yourselves. How many of you could list all ten of those amendments? Twenty-five percent? Fifteen? I'm betting it's less than ten percent. I'd say it's under five percent.
"It's sickening. You sicken me. You ruined this country because you didn't give a damn. So, there's only one question left to ask. Can we fix it?
"Well, frankly, I don't know if it can be fixed. A half-century of apathy, and ignorance, and burying your big, fat, stupid heads in the sand has done a lot of damage. But I'm gonna try. I promise you that, ladies and gentlemen. I'm gonna try my damnedest to talk some sense into you people.
"I'm gonna peel back the layers of deceit one by one, like an onion, until you can finally see the truth for what it is. I'm gonna take the blinders off, and you're gonna see things you might not like. Scary things. But you'll be able to deal with these things because your Uncle Marty's gonna arm you with something better than a spear, or a gun, or even a fully operational aircraft carrier. I'm gonna arm you with knowledge. I'm gonna arm you with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
"Now, I've been on the air for a long time, but this is my first night of syndication. My words will reach out across roughly three thousand miles, and hopefully, there are some patriots out there who are ready to be awakened. Our journey to the truth begins tonight, ladies and gentlemen. When we come back, we'll be joined by author and lecturer, Gale Fortier, who is going to discuss how the shadow government is using internet porn and toothpaste to control your mind. I'm Marty Milligan, and this is 'Radio Patriot.' Stay tuned."
"Holy shit, are you listening to this?" Clone 11 asked Clone 17.
"Yeah, it's crazy. Who is this guy?"
Number 11 and Number 17 were flabbergasted. This wasn't the mind-numbing elevator music they used as a sleep aid. Marty Milligan brought you visceral, in-your-face commentary. The show was addicting.
"Hey, come here, 32. You gotta hear this guy," Number 11 yelled across the block.
As Marty Milligan broadcasted out of his studio in Yuma, Arizona, he couldn't have known that he was radicalizing dozens of genetically engineered humans who were being held prisoner on a sentient asteroid that was hurtling through space at the edge of our solar system. But if he had known, he would have considered it his greatest achievement as a radio talk show host.
The 58 Roys listened to "Radio Patriot" religiously. Even Short Bus liked to tune in, and he would clap his giant hands excitedly whenever Marty Milligan would launch into an impassioned tirade. None of them had ever been to this place Marty spoke of -- this place called The United States of America. But they had some evidence that the origin Roy, the one they referred to as Number 0, hailed from that place.
One of the psychic clones, Number 21, initially reported this information to the cellblock back in the 90s when the original Roy was still in college. The neural disruptor on his halo apparatus had shorted out, and before a Gray technician could repair it, Number 21 had utilized his remote viewing capabilities to survey Earth. He was drawn, for some reason, to a specific region in North America, just south of the Great Lakes.
He felt a deep psychic bond with a force that was emanating from a little domicile located on the corner of two streets denoted as North Main Street and Ridge Road. He was able to peer through the top of this domicile and see two humans: a male, and a female. He did not recognize the woman, but the man exhibited similarities that were unmistakable.
He posited that he must have been viewing the genetic origin of himself and his brothers -- he was observing Roy 0. Number 21 noted how Number 0 and the female interacted. They played their radio at a decibel setting that would have far exceeded the maximum level permitted on the cellblock, and they consumed copious amounts of intoxicating liquor that certainly would have spiked their blood alcohol level above the Council-approved limit.
But the real kicker -- the thing that really stuck with Number 21 -- was the variety and duration of their conjugal visit. It wasn't at all like the rushed, impersonal business transactions with a Council-approved companion. These people had an intense passion blazing in their eyes as they progressed through an array of different positions that demanded ever greater balance and flexibility.
For the 58 clones, Number 0 became something of a folk hero. They wove tales about his capacity for drink and his sexual prowess. The legend of Number 0 had, for the first time, put the idea of freedom in their minds.
Years later, it was "Radio Patriot" that would give the 58 clones the direction they needed to build a resistance force against their Gray overseers. According to Marty Milligan, gathering and disseminating accurate information were the keys to maintaining a population of free people. The oppressors will always try to hide and distort the truth to keep their subjects ignorant and impotent.
If the resistance movement was going to succeed, it was imperative for the Roys to figure out how to get their remote viewers into the game. The problem was, all six had those damned halo neural disruptors fused to their skulls. Nobody on the cellblock had the tools or technical expertise to disable the halos, but the devices had an Achilles heel that the clones were able to exploit.
Occasionally, the Asteroid Colony would pass by a particularly active star that would emit a barrage of charged particles and x-rays that would wreak havoc on the asteroid's artificially generated magnetic field. Scientists on Earth refer to this phenomenon as a coronal mass ejection, but everyone on the cellblock just called it a shit storm.
It was during these shit storms that the delicate sensors and circuitry of the halo devices would become compromised, and the six Roys would launch into a furious session of remote surveillance gathering. Numbers 18, 19, and 20 were more limited in their scope, so their remote viewing capabilities maxed out somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 miles. They were good for prying into the bustling activities of the Grays, as well as conducting scans of any star cruisers in close proximity.
Numbers 21, 22, and 23 had a much wider range -- somewhere in the ballpark of 5 to 10 Astronomical Units. On several occasions, they were within range of Earth, and they were able to compile quite a dossier on their long-lost brother, Number 0. It became evident that The Council's chief concern was recruiting Number 0 into its collective consciousness, because he possessed some remarkable ability the Gray scientists could not replicate in a lab. The clones realized, then, that they were nothing more than failed experiments -- 58 fuck-ups who were kept alive, presumably, for spare parts.
It was a sobering revelation -- one that took most of the momentum out of the resistance movement. If that wasn't enough of a buzz kill, "Radio Patriot" had been off the air for more than a year at that point -- the result of a very public dispute between Marty Milligan and one of the station's major sponsors. It had something to do with Marty accusing a big energy company of spraying poisonous chemtrails over an indigenous population somewhere in South America so they could eradicate the natives and drill for whatever precious resource happened to be buried underneath their grass huts.
The resistance movement got the shot of adrenaline it so desperately needed when Earth's mother star cycled back into a phase of heightened solar flare activity. It gave the clones the cover they needed to carry out their remote surveillance missions. They were looking for weak links in security protocol -- anything at all that they might be able to exploit. Over a period of two days, they had discovered a cache of handheld sonic disruptors, and they had acquired about a dozen passwords that would allow them access to several computer systems including the quantum mainframe which was housed at the core of the Asteroid.
They also uncovered one more interesting tidbit: Number 0 himself had been brought to the Colony, and his brain had been extracted and was being kept alive in a vat of chemicals. With that bit of information, the resistance movement suddenly became a rescue mission. At last, the 58 Roys had a real cause -- one they believed in, one they would fight for, and most likely, one they would die for. They were going to try to save their big brother.
Well ... at least they were gonna try to save their big brother's brain.
The MENSA-caliber Roys among the clones were regarded as only slightly less stupid primitive beings by their Gray overseers, so they were never fitted with neural disruptors. Unencumbered, the genius-level clones meticulously constructed a ruse that relied on surgical precision, speed, and stealth.
The plan would begin to unfold when the Grays showed up to repair the halo devices that would, undoubtedly, get damaged the next time the Sun decided to spit a wave of high-energy protons and x-rays in the general direction of the Asteroid Colony. The Grays would invariably show up for these service calls with two guards and one technician. Every clone would be confined to his individual cell during these visits, and the guards would call out one subject at a time.
The subject would then be handcuffed and escorted to the center of the cellblock where the technician would perform the necessary repairs on the halo apparatus. The subject would then be returned to his cell, and the next subject would be called out. Each repair took about five minutes, so if all six devices needed work, nobody would be expecting the team of Grays to report back for about thirty minutes. In the best case scenario, the clones would have a thirty minute head start before anybody was alerted to their escape.
Thanks to their remote surveillance program, the clones had obtained valid access codes that could override the electronic security doors to their individual cells, as well as the main gate that sealed the prison off from the rest of the Colony. They would have to interface with the computer system telepathically, and only Numbers 21, 22, and 23 had psychic abilities advanced enough to transmit that information. Numbers 18, 19, and 20 were read-only.
When the three Grays arrived on the cellblock, 23 would run the access code which would unlock their cell doors, and the clones would overrun the two guards and the technician.
Everybody was to be armed with a homemade shiv, which would help expedite the assassinations. The guards would likely be carrying sonic disruptors, but if they struck quickly and decisively, the resistance could avoid sustaining any casualties. It was imperative that they remember to take the disruptor weapons off of the dead guards before they proceeded to calmly exit the cellblock in a single file line through the main security doors.
From there they could navigate through the underground labyrinth with a map they had sketched during an exceptionally productive remote viewing session with Number 19. Of course, there would be security monitors at regular intervals throughout the network of tunnels, but with any luck, they would be able to telepathically hail the computer system that controls the surveillance equipment and scramble the feed. Hopefully, the Grays would chalk up the interruption to solar flares.
They would have to find the corridor demarcated with a symbol that looked like two dots above three wavy lines. That was the corridor that would take them to the medical facility where Number 0's brain was stored. Conveniently enough, the weapons cache was located in a storage facility along this same corridor, so they would take a few minutes to try to breach the security door. Time would definitely be a factor here, because Gray technicians would be en route to investigate the malfunction with the security monitors. If they couldn't breach the doors in a minute or two, the resistance team would have to abandon the weapons cache and proceed to the medical facility, only armed with their homemade shivs and two handheld disruptors.
The access code to the medical facility would likely still be valid, as the Grays couldn't fathom any internal threat to the Asteroid Colony. They seldom, if ever, changed any of their passwords, and the resistance team would certainly be able to exploit such a pompous, cavalier attitude. Upon entering the medical facility, any alien personnel would be immediately terminated, either with sonic disruptors, or homemade shivs, or some combination thereof.
Number 0's brain would be stored in a transparent container that was filled with a cloudy, indeterminate fluid. Ostensibly, the fluid was some kind of chemical bath that supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients that keeps the tissue from turning necrotic.
The resistance team would then abscond with the brain and carry it to a freight elevator that was located at the end of a corridor. The freight elevator would then take them to the surface of the asteroid, where they would be able to see the docking station for intergalactic ships.
The resistance team would utilize a clearance code that should grant them access to any of the ships at the dock. Upon boarding, Number 23 would telepathically upload predetermined coordinates into the ship's navigation system. The coordinates were to be set for a point on Earth that would plunge the craft into the Mariana Trench at the bottom of the Pacific -- the deepest point of all of Earth's oceans.
Should interceptor crafts pursue their vessel, the resistance team would hail The Council and demand that the sorties stand down, less they stomp Number 0's brain to mush. There was a high probability that their bluff would work, as The Council has staked its entire future on Number 0's disembodied brain.
Upon touching down at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the resistance team will go dark for several days. After the heat is off, they will surface and head to one of three nearby locations: The Philippines will be to their west, Japan to their north, and Papua New Guinea to their south. It is unclear how long their brother's brain would keep without advanced medical care, but they could buy time by dropping Number 0's brain off at a reputable cryogenic storage facility.
Later, when human doctors finally develop the technology to perform brain transplants with a high success rate, they'd have 0's brain transferred into a viable donor body. After his reanimation, they would have a proper family reunion with kegs of beer and conjugal visits with beautiful women who don't charge an exorbitant amount of credits.
That's how the plan looked on paper. It read just like a fuckin' fairy tale, and that's because it was just a fuckin' fairy tale. What really went down was a whole lot messier.
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